The girls are in school and we are in a new season. While I’m not exactly swimming in free time, I’ve been afforded a bit of mental space and time (albeit shared with toddler and baby). But with this gift of margin, I have found myself anxious, even paralyzed at times. There’s so much I want to do but not enough time to do it all. How do I choose what gets done and what doesn’t? Where should I start?
This anxiety isn’t new for me. A refrain in my tenure as a stay-at-home mom has been the struggle of feeling like I’m not accomplishing all I should. Some of my problem is practical— I need more realistic goals and expectations. Some of it is spiritual— the ongoing struggle against perfectionism, asceticism, and worldly measures of productivity.
God is speaking to these things even now. I have been coming to “aha!” moments with gladness, then stopping and realizing I’ve had these “revelations” before and have either forgotten or not thought to apply them this time.
In Psalm 71:3, the singer cries out: Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
The “continually” is a comfort for forgetters like me.
I am hoping that the reiterations of truth God is speaking to me now are going deeper than before. That God is patiently weaving multi-spiral lessons into my life and I’m just seeing one strand of color resurface for now. Or maybe I’m just giving a chance to learn what I never mastered. Whatever the case, I am glad that God does tire of repeating himself. That he is not upset that I need him. Again.
Do you need him to speak to you words of grace and truth today? Are you frustrated that you still need help? Still need comfort? Still need healing? Still need correction?
Our fleeing to God for help is not a one and done thing. As our Father, he delights in our coming to him. As Lord, he receives glory as he gives the command to save. He does not tire of repeating himself and will not rebuke you as you come to him once more.
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“Just from Jesus simply taking life and rest and joy and peace.” I stand in my kitchen, listening as the words fall and flow like Isaiah's waters in the wilderness. “The burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water,” he prophesied.
God knows I am thirsty.
And “just from Jesus simply taking”?This is living, gospel water.
We sang Tis So Sweet at our wedding, hands raised, declaring God’s faithfulness and our need. These days, the old hymn ministers to me again. “Just from Jesus simply taking” does not come naturally, and has not been my posture as of late.
Because can it really be that simple? In the midst of all that is going on in and around me, life and rest, and joy, and peace are mine to simply receive? Yet as I meditate on these words, the weight in my heart shifts a bit.
If we have eyes to see them, to listen for it, we will find Scripture replete with Christ’s divine invitations to simply take.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly, he says.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Life (Jn. 10:10). Rest (Mt 11:28). Joy (Jn. 16:24). And peace (Jn. 14:27). These are mine and yours for the taking. Not as mighty conquerors claiming a prize. No, not as the world gives does he give. Not by earning. Not with strings attached, only if you’re beautiful and smart and strong and good enough.
This is Jesus who gives. Precious Jesus, who said of his own body and blood, offered to sinners— Take, eat and drink. To those with no hope of making it on our own, he gave himself that we may freely receive what he has bought with his blood.
So come today, weary ones, and find rest. Come depressed and despairing, find joy. Come, anxious and obsessive worriers, find peace. Come broken and dying, and find life.
Take him at his word, rest on his promises, and simply take. In simple faith, plunge beneath his healing, cleansing flood and there find grace to trust him more.